Teach Better Now – Assessment 7 of the NZCALNE (Voc)


AFTER: What does it all mean? Analysing your learners’ literacy and numeracy progress


Next, you need to analyse your learners’ results in relation to key programme demands by:

  • Summarising progress results including identifying strengths and needs for each learner.
  • Describing implications from the results that can inform the design of future literacy and numeracy teaching and learning strategies

We have prompts for all of this to guide you in the template for Assessment 7. But if f you want to take notes now, you can download just the questions below in a format that you can write on.

Here’s what you’ll need to think about and answer for each learner after carrying out and collecting the final assessment results:

What were the contextualised literacy assessment results?

  • What was their final score on the contextualised literacy assessment?
  • Can you say roughly what step in the Learning Progressions this relates?
  • How does this compare to what they when they did this the first time?

What were the contextualised numeracy assessment results?

  • What was their final score on the contextualised literacy assessment?
  • Can you say roughly what step in the Learning Progressions this relates?
  • How does this compare to what they when they did this the first time?

What improvements and strengths did you see this time?

  • What were their improvements?
  • What are their strengths now?
  • Were there any gains that you didn’t expect?

What are some next steps for this learner?

  • What are some further areas this learner needs to work on to succeed in this programme?
  • What does this learner still need help with?

What’s the relationship to the demands you identified earlier?

  • Any thoughts on what you identified earlier when you mapped the demands of your programme and resources?

What’s the relationship to the needs you identified earlier?

  • Any thoughts on what you identified earlier in the literacy and numeracy diagnostic assessments?

What about feedback on their literacy and numeracy progress?

  • How did you provide feedback on these last assessments?

AFTER: What evidence do I need to start pulling together for Assessment 7?


There’s a short list below. These aren’t the only things, but now is a good time to recap what you should be doing and supplying as evidence so far.

Here is the checklist from the start of Assessment 7. This is the same as in your assessment template. You need to use and then supply the following things as supporting evidence:

Contextualised literacy

  • Learner A: Completed assessment
  • Learner B: Completed assessment

Contextualised numeracy

  • Learner A: Completed assessment
  • Learner B: Completed assessment

Collaborative assessment

  • Worksheet or your notes on the process.

As with everything, don’t forget that we always prefer digital forms of evidence: for example, scans, digital photos, PDFs or Word documents.

AFTER: What is collaborative assessment and how do I use it?


What is a collaborative assessment?

Group collaborative assessment is when two or more learners attempt to assess some aspect or aspects of their own learning together. In other words, the focus in a collaborative assessment is on what the group thinks they have learned.

We covered this in the content for Collection 5. In a nutshell, though:

  • Learner self-assessment asks this question: “How good am I?”
    Collaborative group assessment asks this question: “How good are we?”
  • Collaborative assessment can be informal. And the focus might relate to goals that you or the group set earlier, things that they thought they did well, or things they need to work on.

The same guidelines apply here as for self-assessment. This means that collaborative assessment may not be as appropriate for very low-level learners including ESOL learners. Collaborative assessment tends to be discussion-based. And if you have pre-literate learners they may lack the language they need for this.

Collaborative group assessment doesn’t mean that everyone has to agree with everyone else either. For example, a good outcome for a collaborative assessment may include a discussion and list of what people do and don’t agree on with regards to their progress.

We have a collaborative assessment task that you can use or modify that we’ll share in the next section.

AFTER – Kia ora and welcome to Collection 7 of the NZCALNE (Voc)


Kia ora and welcome back once again…!

This is the final collection and you’ll complete your last assessment task. Let’s do a quick review and then get on with finishing everything off.

Here’s an updated outline of what you’ve learned and done so far.

  • Collection 1 – CONTEXT: We learned about definitions, frameworks and factors associated with poor adult literacy and numeracy.
  • Collection 2 – APPROACHES: We looked at approaches used in learner-centred adult education. This included a range of Māori concepts and approaches.
  • Collection 3 – DEMANDS: Here we looked at the Learning Progressions for literacy and numeracy and how to analyse the demands of your programme and teaching resources.
  • Collection 4 – STRATEGIES: You developed some broad strategies for embedding literacy and numeracy, as well as learning outcomes for embedding literacy and numeracy into your teaching sessions.
  • Collection 5 – BEFORE: We discussed a range of different assessments including diagnostic assessments that you can use in your teaching. And you carried out different kinds of diagnostic processes and related activities.
  • Collection 6 – TEACH: Hopefully, you’ve just finished this one including pulling together all the evidence that you need. The focus in this collection was on planning and teaching using embedded literacy and numeracy.

Well done on making it this far. There’s not that much more for you to learn. Just a few things for you to do. You’ll be finished before you can blink.

Here’s what’s ahead in Collection 7

7.1 Just do it: Progress assessment

You need to assess your learners’ literacy and numeracy progress. For most people, this means simply reusing your contextualised literacy and numeracy assessments from Assessment 5. You’ll need to supply evidence for at least two learners. These should be the same two learners that you’ve been tracking through Assessments 5 and 6. You should scan or take a digital copy of the completed assessments.

You also need to have a go at some kind of collaborative assessment. You can get the group to work together and complete this. We have a generic version that you can use or modify. Or you can make your own if you need something more specialised. You’ll need to scan the results or make a digital copy as supporting evidence as well.

7.2 What does it mean?

Here we expect you to analyse your learners’ progress assessment results. We have a template to guide you as always. But there are two main things to make sure you cover. One is summarising your learners’ progress results including identifying strengths and needs. And the other is describing implications from the results that can inform the design of future literacy and numeracy teaching and learning strategies

7.3 Collecting some final information

You’ll need to do a couple of things here to get some evaluation data. One is carrying out learner evaluations. Again, you can use or modify the template in the course notes or make your own. Make sure you scan these as well or make a digital copy as supporting evidence. And you’ll need to ask your supervisor to complete the Supervisor comments and checklist. This should be as per our format. You should also scan this and provide it as supporting evidence. We’ll guide you via the templates.

7.4 Review: The whole project

The very last thing you need to do is review your teaching across the whole project and portfolio overall. This includes your reflections on what went well and what you’d do differently, but also what you need to do moving forward from here. This includes any key changes and improvements you might make, possible goals for your learners, and any other implications for designing your teaching and learning.

Cashflow 101 Experiment – Part 3: Developing a Contextualised Numeracy Assessment


Screenshot 2015-09-20 10.29.25

Feel free to skip this one as well. This is an outline of how I developed the numeracy diagnostic I’m using in my experiment with the Cashflow 101 game.

The vocabulary diagnostic is here from the other day.

To play the game, you have to maintain a balance sheet. Like the one in the image above. This means doing some maths.

And some of the maths gets a bit tricky as it involves big numbers. This means that you need to understand place value and a few other things as well.

I looked back across a bunch of old balance sheets that we’d already used and came up with a list of several different kinds of calculations that players needed to understand and do.

From there I also worked backwards to some of the underpinning knowledge. I did this so I could check numeracy knowledge at the lower steps as well. I didn’t really need this for the group that I’m working with, but I wanted it in place for others.

In the same way that the vocabulary was mapped against the steps of the Adult Literacy Progressions, the numeracy concepts here are mapped against the Learning Progressions for Adult Numeracy.

From looking back over past games, most calculations require knowledge at step 4. There’s some multiplication, most of the work is using addition and subtraction. You also need some knowledge of percentages.

Here’s what I came up with for the step 4 additive and multiplicative calculations. Screenshot 2015-09-20 14.56.36

Screenshot 2015-09-20 14.56.52

The actual assessment is a bit longer as I wanted to check number knowledge and place value as well.

You can download a PDF of the current version of the numeracy assessment for the Cashflow game below:

If you use it, let me know. Feel free to cut it down to size. At 50 items it’s too big as well.

Using the Speak to Communicate Progression to Assess Confidence


speak to commThis is a bit rough and ready, but I wanted to get down some thoughts on using the Speak to Communicate Strand that have been rattling around in my head for a while now.

Here’s the problem

  • Lots of tutors and trainers notice an increase in the levels of learner confidence that they see over time with regards to speaking and communicating, but they don’t know how to measure this or talk about it in a robust way.

For example, from a classroom training point of view, if you’re working with a group, particularly if the group includes older adult students who don’t speak English as a first language, and you notice that many are withdrawn, shy, won’t make eye contact, struggle to participate and so on, you’re likely to make at least a mental note that they are lacking in confidence.

From an employer’s perspective, you might observe that some workers dislike making small talk on the factory floor, or actually hide behind pieces of machinery so that they don’t have to engage in any kind of interaction.

Another scenario, might be that a trainee cannot deliver a clear set of instructions or tell another person a procedure for how to do something.

Here’s a possible solution

The Learning Progressions that we work with in New Zealand for determining the literacy and numeracy demands and assessing learner proficiency provides a way to describe and work with learners’s abilities for speaking (just as it does for reading and numeracy).

Speaking is not part of the focus of the TEC’s Literacy and Numeracy for Adults Assessment Tool, so it tends to get sidelined. However, most trainers, tutors, and employers would agree that listening and speaking are critical in the classroom and workplace.

This is probably doubly important for employers as it’s something that is visible to them in terms of the sometimes limited interactions that they might have with workers and employees.

I think that we can look at the Speak to Communicate strand and incorporate our ideas of “confidence” in a way that makes sense for both trainers, learners, and employers (and the TEC).

Here’s what I suggest:

  1. Start with the actual speaking and listening scenarios or tasks that people really have to do. Here’s a couple for starters below. Brainstorm some that are generic and some that are site or context specific:
    1. Introduce yourself to others
    2. Discuss a workplace issue or concern that relates to an area that you are familiar with.
    3. Discuss a workplace issue or concern that relates to an area that you are not familiar with.
    4. Deliver a short presentation to a manager outlining possible changes or improvements to workflow.
  2. Map the speaking demands using the Speak to Communicate strand and progressions. If you’re doing this work, you should have done the NCALNE (Voc) training and have a good idea on how to do this already. The image above is not meant to replace the actual strand, but I scribbled out some of the key words in each step as a way of getting a very rough and ready analysis of certain kinds of scenarios. Don’t take my word for it – go and look at the whole strand, but for example:
    1. introduce yourself to others: Step 1 – 2
    2. Discuss a workplace issue or concern that relates to an area that you are familiar with: Step 2 – 3
    3. Discuss a workplace issue or concern that relates to an area that you are not familiar with: Step 3 – 4
    4. Deliver a short presentation outlining possible changes or improvements to workflow: Step 5 – 6
  3. Come up with real samples and examples of the actual language you’d expect to hear for each scenario (like you would when creating a judgement statement for an assessment schedule for NZQA purposes). Create your own master guide for each scenario showing the kinds of language that you’re expecting and how much of it you need to hear before you can make a judgement that the learner is confident in relation to that particular aspect of the interaction.
  4. Use a “Confidence” traffic light system for each relevant step for each scenario that you’re assessing. Probably, I need to expand on this somewhere, but here’s what I mean in a nutshell: For each relevant step that relates to a particular scenario you can assess your learner as follows:
    1. Red: Not confident
    2. Amber: Developing confidence in this area
    3. Green: Can do this with confidence
  5. Summarise the results if you need to report to an employer or manager. You don’t need to give everyone all of the detail, but it is important to work from a system that is part of what we’re already using, i.e. the Learning Progressions. This avoids coming up with a new system based on flakier measures of confidence that aren’t tied to actual learner performance of specific tasks.And then when it comes to reporting to employers or managers you can say things like this:

“We measure speaking proficiency and confidence on a scale of 1 to 6 steps with 1 relating to simple, formulaic interactions like greetings and 6 relating to more extended, complex work-related interactions like a short presentation.

When Jones started our training he was only able to handle low level speaking tasks at steps 1 and 2 with any kind of confidence.

In the last 6 months we’ve seen him develop his knowledge of work related vocabulary, express his own point of view about different issues, and speak about less familiar topics including health and safety concerns.

This means he’s now between steps 3 and 4 and can handle some more complicated work-related speaking activities with confidence.

By the end of the training he should be able to deliver a short formal presentation as well as give verbal instructions relating to some of our key standard operating procedures (SOPs).

At this point he will have shifted to step 5 and 6.”

Hat tip: Dave Curtis